23.2.15

Mejekawi by Ku De Ta, Bali

We'd originally planned to do dinner at Ku De Ta, but were sweet-talked by the front-of-house into dining at Mejekawi, its sister restaurant upstairs and the newest jewel of the original Ku De Ta family. Whereas the mod-Aussie Ku De Ta is casual and breezy, the pan-Asian Mejekawi is all grown up and elegant.

Also, unlike Ku De Ta's ala carte menu, Mejekawi offers just 2 degustation menus, and nothing else. Still, any reservations on the lack of choice is quickly defused at first bite. Mejekawi is fusion cuisine at its finest. Impeccably conceptualised, masterfully executed, and gorgeously plated, Mejekawi manages an effortlessness that's got the sincerity of soulfood, but the refinement of haute cuisine.

Coupled with breathtakingly scenic views of the seascape, and the soothing rhythm of the crashing waves on the beach, and the Ku De Ta group has another winning concept on its hands.

Ask for the balcony seats for the most magnificent views on the house. It overlooks the beach and Ku De Ta's premises downstairs. If it gets too warm, you can always move indoors. Reservations are a must, and the restaurant's website conveniently allows for online bookings. 

Service was positively first-class, and by far, the best of the lot of restaurants sampled in Bali. The wait staff were impossibly accommodating, and charmingly affable. I mean, we moved in-and-out of the restaurant multiple times and the staff were never fazed. We had cocktails and starters outdoors, then moved indoors for the mains and desserts, then finished off with a digestif back out on the balcony.

We opted for the 5-Course Degustation Menu (IDR590,000/S$62). For those with a more voracious appetite, you may wish to order the staggering 12-course (IDR1,380,000/S$145) instead.

Dinner kicked off with an effervescent Yellow Fin Tuna Ceviche dressed with radish, coriander oil, shallots, lime and chillis. A mildly bitter pinenut rempeyek lent crunch.

This was washed down with a complimentary White Bloody Mary shooter enlivened with droplets of basil oil.

A reinterpretation of chawanmushi, the also-complimentary Corn Custard, speckled with cauliflower, water chestnut, and conpoy in a miso seafood broth was baby-bottom smooth, sided by a crispy potato film.

Onto the second course of a buttermilked Southern Fried Gochugaru Quail melded the best of the American south with Korean sensibilities. The achar kuning, burnt lime, and aioli provided refreshment.

The other choice of a second course was the luscious Wood-Fired Crayfish (supplement IDR60,000/S$6.35) perched on a bed of X.O. sauced fregola and fresh leek. 

The third course was a choice of a decadent Char Grilled Wagyu Oyster Blade, fork-tender and full-bodied, garnished with micro-cress and smoked red peppers. 

This was served with a Potato and Fennel Gratin, burnished with golden breadcrumbs and utterly delicious.

Also siding the beef was a piquant Mesclun Salad dressed in balsamic. The greens were so sweet, we lapped this all up.  

An alternative to the beef was the Black Cod, raked over with coals and glazed with a roasted honeyed chilli paste, balanced out by crisp jicama, apple and lime.

A Basil Sorbet capped with cucumber granitas, a dollop of homemade yoghurt, and fresh chopped tomatoes, also gratituous, was a refreshing palate-cleanser.

For dessert, we had a option of the artistic Tabanan Chocolate with roasted cocoa nibs ice-cream, cashew nut sponge, finished with kopi luwak bubbles. For all of its bold components, this was wonderfully nuanced.

The other option was the Pandanbert, a silky panna cotta fragranced with smoked vanilla and pandan, topped with the Indonesian snakefruit, salak, and crispy mung bean soil.

The Balinese Meringue, with palm sugar and white chocolate rounded off the set, while we were served a complimentary digestif (unphoto-ed) and cocktail punch.

The restaurant interiors, which, in comparison to the rest of the restaurants, was considered brightly lit.

Cocktails are de riguer for enjoying the spectacular view on the balcony, and while I had the sweetly delicious Mango Lady (IDR130,000/S$13.75) with tanqueray gin, mango and lemon juice, the Hubs had a madmen-approved Cinnamon Rum Old Fashioned (IDR130,000/S$13.75) with ron zacapa 23yo, cinnamon, orange bitters, and an orange twist. 

Just look at that view from the balcony!

Entrance to Ku De Ta

Like Metis, Ku De Ta also charges for bottled water, and Mejekawi only carries the designer brand Fiji Water (IDR60,000/S$ for 1L). Oh well.


Mejekawi by Ku De Ta
Website: www.kudeta.net

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